Friday, December 2, 2016

Oxygen Addict

This is not a post about my birth story - you don't want to hear that, and I don't want to tell it - BUT...

Remember those oxygen bars like 10 years ago? Oh, um, yeah, it was 14 (the one time I saw one at a techno bar in Tampa). Wow, times goes fast. I thought they were weird.

During Felix's birth, halfway through the EXCRUCIATING pushing stage, right after the EXCRUCIATING transitional contractions phase, the nurse placed an oxygen mask on my sweaty, bloated, tense, pain-riddled face, and it was blissful. It didn't take the pain away (the narcotics post-birth helped with that), but it brought me back . It saved me.*

Lately, I have noticed myself holding my breath all the time. At night, I lay in bed trying to do breathing exercises and failing miserably. I feel like there's no room inside this body. My muscles never relax. This is strange for me. I don't like it. I know it's partly the physical demands of life with a newborn, but I think it's partly anxiety, too, though I'm not even sure what I'm anxious about anymore. Nothing? Everything? It's just my normal or my abnormal or whatever.

How do we fix this? Practice, I guess. Maybe some aromatherapy, a massage, some acupuncture (ahem, Kevyn), but a return to routine yoga and meditation won't hurt. Felix will be 6 months in 2 1/2 weeks. It's time to nurture Lesley.

That's where O comes in. Better start there. Suck that O like an addict. It makes our bodies function, after all. Plus, I wouldn't mind a natural high.

* Note: I'm not downplaying the beauty of childbirth, in whatever form it comes in (nonmedicated, medicated, cesarean, etc.), and I feel pretty awesome, because I effing survived it. Niko's birth was easier, though not pain free. This time, I resisted as long as possible, but I was forced to take Pitocin. It made everything, as I mentioned earlier, EXCRUCIATING. The medical community needs to solve this problem. There must be a better option. I wasn't willing to take elective painkillers, and so I suffered. Tremendously. I don't regret it, but I think I've earned the right to mention how EXCRUCIATING it was in ALL CAPS at least four times now and off an on until it becomes a much blurrier memory.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Where'd My Body Go??

Up there in the "bunch of nonsense articles for new moms" are ones often titled something like "How to Get Your Body Back." Get my body back? I didn't know I'd lost it! Gee, this parenting thing is hard enough, but doing it as an ethereal spirit is damn near impossible. I get it. We all want to be a little svelter, but this body of mine is always mine, 10 pounds heavier or not, saggy stretch-marked belly or not. It's a glorious machine that grows humans and feeds them. I want to be healthy - we all should want that for ourselves and loved ones, in my opinion - but our bodies should be treated kindly after the stress of pregnancy and childbirth. No, our bodies should be treated kindly always, and so should our minds. You don't need that negativity in your life. If you want to exercise, good for you. Be kind to your wonderful body, but don't push it. Do what makes you feel good, but don't worry about some stupid scale. Be you. Enjoy your lovely body, the only home you truly have. 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

The Want Monster Strikes Again

The greatest lesson/tool I've learned from Buddhism is to feel and accept my feelings and thoughts. It's only then that you can truly let them go and move toward the ultimate goals of kindness, empathy, and compassion, as well as just the general contentment and wonder of this miraculous life. I could get into some heavy stuff about how I'm processing my reactions to current events, but that's an ongoing journey that takes constant effort and mindfullness. Now for something more trivial:

The Want Monster Strikes again! I've been thinking about and trying to suppress my material wants lately, so let's just admit them and move on.

1. a house
2. a car
3. clothes that fit a post-Felix body

I consider 1-3 necessities, with 3 being the most urgent and 2 being the one that can wait until my rust-bucket finally breathes her last exhausty breath.

4. fine chocolates
5. fancy soaps
6. craft supplies
7. expensive health food items and/or fresh produce

4-6 are totally not necessary but would give me little moments of pleasure, but one could argue that 7 could have a real affect on my quality of life. 

7. books, all of them, more than I could possibly read
8. book shelves, tons
9. a house with room for all these books and shelves 

7-8 are essential. 9 brings us full circle.

There. I've admitted it all. I feel better. Now back to my awesome family on this beautiful Saturday, hanging out in the living room, sleeping baby on my lap, kindergartener at my feet building with Legos, partner looking cute in his jammies nearby, dog curled up and not barking or antagonizing the turtles, coffee at hand, Talking Heads concert on the tube, and the anticipation of watching Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them with girlfriends in town later today. Life is good.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Just Autumn Glee

Today is sunny and chilly, and I've been dancing around the house to The Okee Dokee Brothers wearing Felix for the last 45 minutes (the kitchen counter is my new, hip, standing desk). He won't let me sit down, which is great, right? Forced exercise while snuggling with this sweet little guy! Pre-preggo jeans, here I come! (LOL, Nope. Hips don't lie, y'all.). So, I think the mosquitoes have finally moved on, which is wonderful news for us. We can go outside without driving 20 minutes into town. I'm psyched to put out a blanket and look up at the trees with the little one this afternoon. He loves green and leaves and trees, already his father's son, as if the physical resemblance weren't enough. He also loves other babies, which we discovered at our last Baby & Me class. He stared and smiled at the other babies, but they didn't respond, the little snobs. Anyway, that's exciting because Felix starts part-time daycare in November, and now I know he'll enjoy making some new friends. :) Rambling here, sorry. Happy Autumn. Be well.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Life Updates with Knitting Pics!

I lost interest in blog-writing for a long time. Even now, I wonder who cares and who reads this, and I must confess, I really just write this for myself. If someone out there reads this and finds it mildly interesting, well, you are the best and I will love you forever.

Now back to me. In the past year, Kevyn got a new job, we got pregnant and moved to a new state, and are about to have a second son (like tomorrow or two weeks from now, who knows?). We've enjoyed making wonderful new friends and exploring our new home and have done lots of fun things from zoos and aquariums to parks and hikes and three concerts (Ani Difranco, Florence + the Machine, and The Cure!). We're looking forward to a beautiful WI summer, and let me tell you, it's already so green and lush and gorgeous here; it makes the three weeks of near constant rain so worth it.

But like I said, the baby is coming any day now. At first, I was worried that meant a lack of fun for me and an abundance of jealousy and suffering for Niko. My hormones seem to be tapering off, though, and my anxiety is dissipating. Instead, I'm just excited, excited to meet my youngest son and to share him with Kevyn and Niko, excited to learn together how to be a family of four, excited for visitors, for outings with friends. Who says you can't take a newborn places? Grumpy frumpy people, that's who. I don't want to be one of them. Am I still a little nervous about juggling all this? Sure, but I can't stop time or life, so I'll get over it.

Lastly, what blog post of mine is complete without some knitting updates??? Here's what I've worked on this year - I was lucky to meet some other moms who got together to knit over the winter and spring. I look forward to joining them again when the weather gets cool this fall. :)

A lifetime supply of booties!
Booties for Bobby! You'll meet him in a second.
A sleep sack for Bobby (originally for the baby, but I messed up the bottom a little. I'm working on a new one that will hopefully be done in time for baby)!
This is Bobby! He's the newest member of our family and sleeps in a cardboard box next to Niko's bed. Only the best for Bobby!
Two blankets for baby.
Two blankets for Niko (but I made the green one when he was a baby).

Monday, June 6, 2016

Raising Boys Is Not "EASIER" Than Raising Girls

Sexism, like racism and many other isms, is often subtle. Most of us sane people are all enraged by overt acts of sexism, but we need to get angry over the little things. I hear many parents talk about how "easy" it is to raise boys or joke about how hormonal girls are. Stop this nonsense. There's nothing easy about raising kids, and boys are not better than girls. Nor are they worse. It shouldn't have to be said that they are occasionally different in some ways but mostly the same in the ways that count. Just like grown-ups the world over.

Having girls means a lot of worry over body image and safety. Having boys means the same thing, just from a different perspective. I'm about to welcome my second son. I love having sons, just as I would love having daughters if that's what I ended up with. But make no mistake; having sons means that my partner and I have to teach them how to be good men who respect and support women. We can't afford to ignore sexism just because they aren't the victims of it. Same goes for racism.

We've already dealt with gender issues with our 5 year-old coming home from school telling us what boy colors and girl colors and boy toys and girl toys are, which he's learned from other children. We have to deprogram him. We have to constantly tell him that boys and girls can like the same things, do the same things, or not, depending on whatever their personal preference is. And we also have to do this subtly so as not to draw too much attention to it. It ought to be natural to realize that we're all people and should not be limited by gender. Because that's the future we want for our kids, for our society. A world where who the eff cares what parts you carry around in your pants. Like what you like. Do what you like. Walk where you like. Any time of day. That's our goal. It should be yours, too, no matter what sex your child is born with.

Parenting isn't easy, but it's rewarding. We're raising people here who we hope will be kinder and more inclusive than the adults that came before them. We can make a difference in this often messed-up world simply by being good parents.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Blogs Schmogs

I haven't been a very good blog-updater this year. Life is life, as I'm sure you can all relate to. Some of it's fun, some boring, all busy. There's a lot going on right now, and I'll give you a bigger update later this year, but for now I just want to remind you all how awesome and wonderful October and Halloween are. So there. You've been reminded. :)

Niko is following in his mommy's footsteps. A day doesn't go by when he doesn't ask for a "plooky" story or "plooky" movie. He's begged us to take him to the Goosebumps movie this weekend, and we are. We're also going on a spooky train-ride and will make and put up some decorations at home.

I love my kid. I love the joy he finds in life, in every aspect of it. We need more of that as grown-ups. Every day is amazing. Going for a walk with Niko and Ginny while the air is crisp and red maple leaves twirl around us is amazing. I love it. If I didn't love these things, I don't know how I'd get out of bed each day. I'm not trying to preach - well, maybe I am - but if you're not appreciating the little moments, what's the point?